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MP3 Mike Bethel - Opaque
Outstanding guitarist with warm soulful vocals. Sometimes powerful, sometimes intensely vulnerable, this album is an emotional rollercoaster.
9 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Modern Folk, ROCK: Acoustic
Here is a recent review of the album, reprinted from the "Rhythm & Booze" fanzine:
Review of Mike Bethel''s ''Opaque'' - October 2001
Opaque is Birmingham based singer songwriter Mike Bethel''s second album that was completed in the Spring of this year.
The opening track "Wait In The Fire" is such a fragile vulnerable song that immediately draws you in with its superb guitar work and that sensitive passionate voice that wrings emotion from the soul. The second track "Little Bee" adds a haunting wailing harmonica alongside a string section to create such a gorgeous track that pulls at the heartstrings.
The musicianship throughout this album is breathtaking, the string arrangements alongside the delicate guitar work is simply a marvel to be heard.
On "Come To Terms" you have more of an upbeat sounding guitar complemented by violin intricacies that is then helped along with some tasty harmonica giving an almost orchestral sound in places.
The lyrics are intelligent, well-written and intriguing - tales of disillusionment that are sung with such a belief that you become entrapped in their words. On occasion, such as "If I Knew The Way", the vocals are so refrained that they become almost like a half whisper that leaves you utterly speechless.
I''ve recently been going to a number of acoustic gigs at The Marrs Bar in Worcester, seeing such performers as Jont and Eddie Morton of The Bushbury''s fame and even though they''ve been impressive, they don''t have the same effect as this album.
Mike Bethel has written a beautifully crafted album full of emotional engaging songs that''ll take your breath away.
[review by Will Munn for Rhythm & Booze magazine]
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